Mail bandit puts damper on Christmas in Central Okanagan

Mail Box thefts have been reported throughout the Okanagan

Christmas is getting to a rough start in a number of Central Okanagan neighbourhoods affected by a mail bandit.

Multiple community boxes have been broken into, either by force or with someone who had a key.

A local citizen contacted Lake Country RCMP when they noticed a set of mail boxes on Rawsthorne Road in Oyama had been knocked over and smashed, according to the Centreal Okanagan Crime Stoppers.

Upon attendance, members noted the mailbox was laying on its back and one of the parcel doors had been ripped off and was laying on the ground. The other doors were still intact. It appears that the mail box had been knocked over, likely by a vehicle. A witness reported seeing two men standing by the mail boxes with an older model two-toned dark pick-up truck with a canopy nearby.

“Christmas presents and amazon deliveries were stolen,” said Tiera Bellerive, a resident of one of the affected areas.

“Parcel wrappings littered throughout our neighbourhood. The police are involved. I sincerely hope Canada Post actually does something and tries to remove the damage that has been done.”

Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said the first incident was reported to police Dec. 9 at 11:08 a.m.

The West Kelowna RCMP received a third party report of a suspicious male and vehicle observed, during the early morning hours of December 8, and believed to possibly breaking into community mailboxes in the area of Paramount Drive and Ryser Place. A witness later described the unknown male as in his 40s and associated to the vehicle a light blue 2000s Volkswagen Passat. “When spotted, the suspect reportedly jumped into his vehicle and sped away from the area without his driving lights activated,” said O’Donaghey, in a statement.

“RCMP examined the mail boxes in the area and found them to be undamaged and without signs of forced entry.”

On Dec. 8 RCMP were contact and advised of a suspected theft of mail from a community mail box in the 4500 block of Trepanier Road. A Peachland residence discovered empty boxes on the ground around the mail box which appeared undamaged and reported the find to Canada Post and in turn the RCMP.

Then, on Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. a concerned citizen called in a report of a suspicious vehicle full of parcels and stopped in front of a set of fully open mailboxes in the 2300 block of Shannon Woods Drive.

“RCMP conducted queries of the vehicle and were able to confirm with Canada Post that the registered owner of the vehicle was a sub contractor delivering packages in the area, said O’Donaghey.

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